Saturday, 2023 September 30

Tuning In | Breaking free: How teenage girls are fighting gender-based violence in Albania with technology

At the age of 16, Dea Rrozhani entered the Technovation Challenge with two other teammates, Arla Hoxha and Jonada Shukarasi. They created GjejZâ, a mobile application to stop gender-based violence in Albania and to empower women to be financially independent enough to break out of unhealthy relationships. The team won the grand prize and continues to work on the app currently. Dea is also the founder and mentor at Robotech, an American Corner Tirana Club, where children aged 10-14 learn the basics of programming and robotics.

This interview is edited for brevity and clarity.

KrASIA (Kr): Could you share more about the idea behind your mobile application GjejZâ?

Dea Rrozhani (DR): Sure, let’s start with the name. GjejZâ means “finding your voice” in Albanian dialect, and we came up with the idea when we observed the reality in Albania. In Albania, almost one in every two women has suffered gender-based violence in their lifetime. There was news on this all the time, and it was so frequent that it somehow became normality, yet no one was taking action.

Worse, we have started to observe signs of abusive and unhealthy relationships in our own generation that might evolve into what we would see in the news later on. Since we were joining the Technovation challenge, we wanted to do something that could possibly change the outcome of this pressing issue and thus, started working on GjejZâ.

Kr: What are some of the key features of GjejZâ?

DR: GjejZâ has three main functions: to empower, inform, and enable users to take action.

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